The Woman's Gharana: Social Capital Formation in the Indian Performing Arts
Even under the modern state, cultural capital remained embedded in the informal service economy. The training organization of the traditional performing arts of India did not fall under the purview of westernised, English education. The methods of transmission of musical techniques in the gharana remained oral, from senior generation to the younger, embedded in an overall context of eating and living together under the same roof. This privileged the social capital born of communication and participation amongst members of the same gharana.But by that same token, it kept non-initiates out.
It would be wrong however to view the gharana system as made up of mutually exclusive guilds, which jealously guarded their techniques as monopolies and were mistrustful of all others. The paper will take up with examples, the significant role played by women in “bridging” and “bonding” to create networks, making the gharana’s capacity for social capital unique.